Always anticipating a rich, decadent bottle from this producer, and this one doesn’t slight on even the smallest detail. Someone on a FB wine-page the other day asked “Why does every RRV Pinot I try feel like a candy bar?” Well, son–hate to break it to ya–that’s just the way they’re wired. Is there a more luxurious reflection of Pinot in California? I can’t think of one. SLH comes close… A few SRH’s pack that kind of wallop, but NOTHING terribly interferes with RRV’s stranglehold on luxurious, velvety patina from this grape. Sure: Burg-bro is gonna scoff; Sonoma Coast hippie is gonna chafe; and Oregon will just look the other way, pretending their ABV’s and mainstream marketability aren’t climbing with each vintage.
Clear ruby out to carefully ruddy pink edges, a fleshy plum rises generously from the glass: deep and rich and ripe, cherry coated with chocolate glaze and sweet leathery funk. Dessert-like aspects are impossible to ignore: the raspberry a swollen testament to vintage theatre seats, deeply-oiled wood and coastal fog settling in lush cow-infested hollows. And yet–despite the jamminess–requisite aspects of the variety: clean horse-stall bedding and that brass spigot on a galvanized pipe dripping into a hollow of earth are prominent in bouquet composition.
Tasting it reels things in a bit: this ISN’T a flabby Syrah-clone crowd-pleaser, after all. The sweet robust-ness of the attack perfectly tinged in peppery bite, a green-brier blessing from the Pinot Gods to dispel the Belle Glos crowd and remind us of our true path. Thin and gloriously raspy all across the palate, general nods to typicity sparked with rumble-strips of gritty structure. Sappy high notes introduce distinct weedy vegetal, sharply raising the grain on smooth leathery aspects the body. This is NOT a thick-bodied *jam & vodka* offering: the middle washes watery and refreshingly thin, a savory patina on steely mineral the only warming glory before tannin etches the memory of cherry into your throat for a dry-decades of finish.
These are expensive, but come with the Donald Patz trademark of Russian River Valley experience. Probably a 30-year wine, easy.
2019 MARITANA Pinot Noir Jenkins Ranch RRV Sonoma 14.0